Strong demand for quality dogs in all classes was again seen at Craven Cattle Marts’ Autumn sale of working sheep dogs at Skipton Auction Mart. (Fri, October 29)
Tom Lawrenson and Kune, top-priced dog at 4,000gns
at Skipton’s Autumn working dogs sale.
Over 100 dogs were entered on the day, which attracted a huge crowd from early morning until late in the afternoon and saw a total of 79 dogs return home with new owners, one of the best clearance rates ever seen at the fixture.
Farm trade was particularly robust, with farmers prepared to give quite a lot more for dogs ready for immediate work ahead of the busy autumn season.
Craven Cattle Marts’ general manager Jeremy Eaton described the last of the year’s seasonal fixtures at Skipton as “probably the best sale we have ever staged in terms of numbers and quality of dogs.”
Twenty-six-year-old Lancastrian Tom Lawrenson, of Walmsley Fold Farm, Brindle, Chorley, returned to the scene of his greatest achievement in the working dog sales arena when heading the prices at 4,000gns (£4,200) with his top-class four-year-old black and white dog ‘Kune.’
Six years earlier at Skipton, the up-and-coming Red Rose handler, a qualifier for the 2011 World Sheep Dog Trials at Lowther Park, Penrith, next September, had set a new world record price for a working sheep dog paid at an official sale when he sold a two-year-old black and white bitch for 4,100 guineas (£4,305).
That record stood until Skipton’s summer sale in July this year, when two dogs jointly set a new world record price of 4,900gns (£5,145).
Tom Lawrenson’s latest top price dog took to the field with top-notch credentials. Kune is by English trialist, Gloucestershire-based Dick Roper’s ‘Tom,’ out of Mr Lawrenson’s home-bred work dog ‘Jess.’
The dam is a daughter of fellow Lancashire handler and renowned national and international trialist Jim Cropper’s ‘Dan,’ the 2008 English National runner-up, who is himself a son of ‘Sid,’ the reserve 2002 World Trials champion.
Kune became Pennine nursery aggregate champion in 2008 and has also won two Opens, as well as amassing National points. The English buyer requested anonymity, as did the majority of purchasers of the top price dogs.
The high level of interest maintained throughout the day was illustrated when ‘Jim,’ a 20-month-old-black and white dog from Welshman Henry Hughes, of Fachwen Fawr, Welshpool, Powys, one of the last entries to take the field at 5.25pm, was sold for the second highest price in sale at 3,500gns (£3,675).
Little wonder that potential buyers stayed late. Jim’s father ‘Cap’ became the 2010 International Supreme champion in Northern Ireland in the hands of his owner Michael Gallagher, from Armoy, County Antrim, who will now represent his country with the dog in the 2011 World Trials.
Mr Hughes said: “He is my highest priced dog ever at an official sale. I knew as soon as I got him that he was a potential top quality dog who would probably go on to great things – and a nice dog to be with too.” Jim returned to his roots when purchased by a buyer from Northern Ireland.
Leading Skipton vendor, Shaun Richards, of Watson Laithe, Hapton, Burnley, again figured among the top prices when his April, 2009-born black and white bitch ‘Jess,’ fully trained for both work and trial, achieved 3,300gns (£3,465). She is Lancashire-bred through and through, being bought as a pup from Frank Cleary, of Darwen. His ‘Dan’ is Jess’s father and the mother ‘Meg,’ from Alf Kyme, of Rossendale.
Another Northern Irish handler, William Torrens, of Killen, Castlederg, County Tyrone, also created keen interest when his dual work and trial December, 2008-born tri-coloured dog ‘Roy,’ was knocked down at 3,200gns (£3,360).
The purchaser was Welshman and renowned trialist Nigel Watkins, of Panthowel Lodge, Llanddeusant, Llangadog, Carmarthenshire, who at the last Skipton trial paid the joint world record price of 4,900gns for ‘Llangwm Rex’ from fellow Welshman Aled Owen, of Penyfed, Ty-Nant, Corwen, Denbighshire, the reigning World Sheep Dog Trials champion, who will defend his title with ‘Roy’ at next year’s renewal.
Mr Watkins, who has also qualified for the 2011 World Trials, is hoping to put his latest Skipton acquisition to good use on the trials field.
John Bell, of Parks Farm, Howden, Selby, who has headed the prices at Skipton on 15 prior occasions and became the joint world record highest price holder at the previous fixture with his 14-month-old tri-coloured dog ‘Ron,’ again performed well with two young litter brother and sister dogs not quite a year old.
The best of them at 3,150gns (£3,307) was another ‘Jess,’ sold to a buyer from Cumbria, with her sibling ‘Jim’ also attracting interest early in the sale when knocked down for 2,700gns (£2,835) to a purchaser from North Craven.
Two other high performers at opposite ends of the day were each sold for 3,000gns (£3,150). First up at 9.30am was a two-and-a-half-year-old tri-coloured bitch, ‘Luss,’ from Welshman Dylan Edwards, of Maesteg, Bridgend.
The second 3,000gns price was achieved by Macclesfield handler Colin Pickford, of Rainow, with his 23-month-old tri-coloured dog ‘Rainow Bob,’ a stylish son of Aled Owen’s World and International champion Roy.
A 12-month-old black and white dog, ‘Budge,’ from Derbyshire handler Ian Hulme, of Buxton, made 2,900gns (£3,045).
Two Welsh entries also sold well at 2,500gns (£2,625). First up was a March, 2008-born black and white dog ‘Sweep,’ from J R Jones, of Pen-y-Gaer on the Lleyn Peninsula, with Welsh trialist Meirion Williams, of Llwyn Onn, Brooks, Welshpool, achieving the same price later in the day with his home-bred two-year-old black and white dog ‘Jake.’
A total of 20 dogs toped 2,000gns, among them ‘Jed,’ a January, 2009-born tri-coloured dog from Gus Dermody, co-presenter of BBC2’s ‘One Man and His Dog’ programme, which sold to the Isle of Man for 2,200gns (£2,310).
A 15-month-old broken white and blue bearded collie dog from Derek Cheetham, of Bolsterstone, Sheffield, also struck a note at the ringside, before being selling well at 1,400gns (£1,470).
A total of 36 broken registered dogs averaged £2,136, with five unbroken registered dogs averaging £924. Part-broken registered dogs sold to 1,400gns and averaged £877.
There was good money too for well-bred puppies, with 26-year-old Beverley Fort, of Brighton House Farm, Whitley Head, Steeton, Keighley, heading the prices at 700gns (£735) with her five-month black and white bitch ‘Nan,’ a well-bred and talented daughter of Aled Owen’s ‘Bob.’
Next up in the New Year is the annual winter sale of working sheep dogs on Friday, January 14.
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